Optimal Health Clinic: STI Testing

This past quarter, Bridgehaven began offering an Optimal Health Clinic with limited STI testing to clients and their partners through a partnership with the Iowa Department of Health.

Who? We are offering the testing to current Earn While You Learn and pregnancy test clients, as well as their partners.

What? There are four possible tests. The Department of Health advises each client on which to take based on their individual risk factors. Details of the four tests are listed in the graph below.

Test Type of Test Results
HIV Finger Poke If finger poke (results in 20 mins) is positive, will draw blood (results in 1 week).
Hepatitis C Finger Poke If finger poke (results in 20 mins) is positive, will draw blood (results in 1 week).
Gonorrhea Urine Results in 3-5 days.
Chlamydia Urine Results in 3-5 days.

A member of the Bridgehaven team will also offer client counseling and prayer.

When? The STI clinics began on February 1, 2018 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., and they will continue every other Thursday until further notice.

Why? Statistics:

  • Gonorrhea and Chlamydia are the most common STIs in Linn County
  • Linn County has the second highest STI rate in the state of Iowa
  • 90 percent of the population that is STI-positive experiences no signs or symptoms
  • Bridgehaven served 507 women with pregnancy tests in 2017. We know these women and their partners are sexually active, and they have already approached us for our services. We can do more to give them the information they need to be a healthy family.

Clients who participate in STI testing are 60 to 70 percent more likely to choose abstinence*. If they simply take the one-time pregnancy test, only 15 to 20 percent choose abstinence*. By offering STI testing, we now have more opportunities to water the seeds that have been planted, reach abortion-vulnerable clients, and share the Gospel.

We know STI testing is somewhere on Bridgehaven’s roadmap for the future. We are going to learn a lot from this opportunity. When the time comes, Bridgehaven will be more equipped to provide these services through our own resources.

*Statistics from CareNet; Bridgehaven’s National Affiliate

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